Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert returned last night on Viacom’s Comedy Central, and we enjoyed watching them. Will the Writers Guild of America feel the same way?
We’re particularly struck by the fact that both shows appeared to be, um, written, at least to some degree. And that’s a violation of the WGA rules, or at least it was last week, when Jay Leno dared write his own material. But the guild isn’t making an issue of Stewart and Colbert’s performance today, at least not yet — but we’re told the guild is looking at the shows to determine if they’re in violation of strike rules.
With Leno, the situation is a bit more clear-cut. He told WGA head Patric Verrone, and his viewers, that he was going to write his own monologue, and the WGA took him to task for it. Stewart and Colbert made repeated references to their lack of writers: Stewart talked about being rebuffed by the WGA in his attempt for a Letterman-like side deal, and Colbert showed his blank TelePrompTers. But neither show seemed like the hosts were simply winging it, which is what the WGA demands they do.
The rest of your daily strike news: The WGA is making a lot of noise, but it’s the Directors Guild of America–with its detailed analysis of digital revenues–that it set to sit down with Hollywood producers this week. Both sides are managing expectations, telling Variety they’re still far apart on digital.
But lead negotiator Gil Cates is on a somewhat personal deadline. Inking a quick deal and hoping the WGA accepts it too, is probably his best shot at saving the Academy Awards, which he is supposed to produce, for the 14th time, this year.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.